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Race report

Jesse Love dominates in rain-delayed ARCA win at Pocono

Jesse Love continued his torrid pace in the ARCA Menards Series with his fifth victory of the 2023 season in Saturday’s race at Pocono Raceway.

Jesse Love, TRICON Garage, Safelite Toyota Tundra

Love dominated much of the rain-delayed race, leading 40 of the 60 laps and cruising to a more than 3-second win over Connor Mosack.

The 18-year-old from Menlo Park, Calif., has now won five of the 10 races this season and across a variety of tracks – superspeedways, intermediates and short tracks.

 

“I was bummed out about yesterday, losing the pole to a teammate,” said Love, who drives the No. 20 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. “I didn’t mind the rain delay. It allowed me to do some more homework on restarts and starts that I wasn’t 100-percent sure on.

“Just a bad-fast (car) today. We had something going on. I felt like I was losing a little bit of power the last two laps down the straightaway and I was just scratching my head. That’s why I went as hard as I did that last stint just to get the lapped cars out of the equation.”

Andres Perez de Lara ended up third, but at one point looked to be Love’s toughest challenge for the win.

Perez de Lara, who passed Love early in the race and led some laps, got hit from behind on a restart with 15 laps to go by Dean Thompson and knocked into Mosack. The damage forced Perez de Lara to pit but he was able to rally back to finish third.

Thompson, who started on the pole, ended up fourth and Conner Jones rounded out the top five.

The third-place finish did move Perez de Lara into second in the series standings, 69 points behind Love with 10 races remaining this season.

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